The “Nix” Gene, The Next Road To The Eradication Of Dengue Fever
The world we live in is full of horrible and fatal diseases. Some of these nasty diseases like malaria, dengue and yellow fever are carried by the annoying and aggressive mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are ranked as number one killers over all corners of this planet. 1 million deaths per annum are resulted due to the mosquito bites, says the World Health Organization (WHO).
Let us thank God for there are several ways to keep these troublesome creatures away that is by altering their genetic factor. This method is the most successful and effective in getting away from the diseases that they spread (dengue).
The female foil of the mosquitoes is accountable for dengue except the male mosquitoes. A specific gene that was identified by the research team of Fralin Life Science Institute of Virginia is the main cause of diseases like yellow fever, malaria and dengue, etc. This gene can principally help in changing the sex. For the growth of her eggs the female mosquito sucks the blood of the victim. This issue can be controlled to a great extent by cumulative number of inoffensive male mosquitoes as they will help in lessening the spread of these transferable diseases.
Nix which in AedesAegypti mosquitoes is the genetic switch that the scientists identified and it is the factor that is professed when finding out the gender of the mosquito.
“Nix provides us with exciting opportunities to harness mosquito sex in the fight against infectious diseases because maleness is the ultimate disease-refractory trait”, says Zhijian Jake Tu a professor of Bio-Chemistry.
Around 67% of the female mosquitoes grew genitals and tested when scientists vaccinated NIX in the embryos of the female mosquitoes. The effect of Nix was found to work vice-versa because when the female turned mosquitoes eradicated Nix from their bodies they were found to relapse to females.
From this study, we can conclude that it is possible to reduce the mosquito population and further more it is possible to exterminate female mosquitoes by changing their sex gene.
“We’re not there yet, but the ultimate goal is to be able to establish transgenic lines that express Nix in genetic females to convert them to harmless males”, says Zach Adelman professor of entomology.